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EricBNeverScare 07-08-2013 05:57 PM

Garage door chain hopped off--how to fix (w/o adjustable slack)?
(Not sure if this is the best place to ask about garage doors, but here goes...)

While calibrating the safety reverse on one of my garage door openers, the chain (this is a chain drive opener) hopped off of the sprocket on the garage door opener.

There are lots of tutorials on the Internet for our to put the chain back on, but all of them assume that there is some sort of tension adjuster with two lock nuts on it--my chain/cable DOES NOT have one of these.

Given that there is no adjustable slack in the cable/chain combination, how can I get the chain back on the garage door opener sprocket? Do I need to move the entire garage door opener?

The chain/cable assembly consists of a cable (with loops on each end), the chain, and a non-adjustable bridge piece that snaps into the piece (with the red cord) that attaches to the door via an L-shaped piece of metal.

I've looked at the garage door opener (just from the outside) and I see no way to adjust the position of the sprocket.

On the garage door end, there is a pulley (that the cable wraps around) connected to the metal bar that sits between the opener and the wall. It looks like I could remove this entire piece (not sure if the metal bar would come crashing down), though the chain is so tight I'm not sure I could get it back on.

Any thoughts on this one? This would be really easy if there was some way to add slack to the cable/chain, but I see no way to do that.


iamrfixit 07-08-2013 06:19 PM

What brand of opener is it?

Most do have an adjuster on the chain end at the trolley, but some openers tension the chain by lengthening or shortening the rail. There is usually a bolt that can be turned to push the rail out or loosened to draw it in. I believe stanley openers were this way, probably a few others as well.

EricBNeverScare 07-08-2013 06:39 PM

The opener is an old Stanley (yellow) garage door opener--not sure of the exact model. There is no adjustable bolt on the carriage/trolley (otherwise I wouldn't be posting :) )

There is a bolt where the rail connects, I'll try tightening that and see if that moves the opener closer to the door (shortening the length the chain/cable need to stretch). Thanks for the suggestion!

In the meantime, I discovered that there are "master links" (quick release links) connecting the chain to the cable and to the carriage/trolley thing. I took apart the master link and now I've gotten the chain back on the sprocket, so all I need to do now is figure out how to shorten the distance the cable/chain covers (because right now, even if I pull with all my might, I can't quite get the master link to connect the cable and chain back together--I'm 1 - 2 mm short...)

EricBNeverScare 07-08-2013 07:54 PM

(Edit: My mistake)

After loosening the bolt near the from of the Stanley garage door opener, I was able to nudge the whole opener forward on the rail, shortening the distance the chain/cable needed to cover, allowing me to connect the master link back and have the chain/cable back on the sprocket!

Unfortunately, after closing the door for the first time, at the very lowest point, the chain popped off again :( . I'll spend some time trying to figure out why/how that happened.

Thanks for your help, iamrfixit!

firehawkmph 07-09-2013 04:55 PM

save yourself the headaches and get a new opener. The Stanley's weren't that good to start with. Liftmaster makes a variety of openers, all which are easy to install and easy to adjust.
Mike Hawkins:)

EricBNeverScare 07-10-2013 09:20 AM

Just to close the loop, after adjusting the "close" position (it was a going a bit too far), the "hopping off the chain when closing" issue appears to be fixed.

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